Thomas had his appointment today with the orthopedic nurse practitioner. She maneuvered his leg in ways that made Marc almost vomit. She twisted and contorted his skinny minny leg every which way but behind his ears. He also complained of his hip hurting so that was x-rayed as well.
We knew sommin' was up when the actual orthopedic surgeon came into the room to introduce himself shortly after his x-ray was complete. He proceeded to twist and jerk and pull on Thomas' leg all the while making guttural sounds like a fat, happy pig. We heard a lot of umph's, and a lot of uggggghhh's. Thomas made no noise other than to tell him when something cracked, popped and snapped. The real doctor, not the nurse practitioner who I actually liked, looked at us and pronounced that his knee is extremely unstable and loose and he has a completely torn ACL. He almost announced it in a way that made us feel like we should be proud of our kids youthful accomplishment.
The doctor told us that surgery at this stage of the game is highly discouraged as it would interfere with the growth of the leg as the surgery would involve messing with the growth plate. He also said that due to the nature of a young, teen aged boy and his ability to use common sense with a replaced ACL, the re-injury rate is enormous. His recommendation is to wait for surgery until he is through his growth phase and his decision making ability is better and he is approximately 19. HELLOOO! That is 6 friggin' years away. He wants me to institute a swimming regimen and weight lifting program to strengthen his quads and hamstring.
Modern medicine?? Is this the best you can offer my son. His knee literally blows out sideways when he over flexes it or twists or heck, even runs slowly. So for 6 years I am supposed to tell my very active son to use his critical thinking skills, weigh the pros and cons of his intended activity and then proceed with caution. Get a friggin' grip. This from a kid who can't think far enough ahead to realize poking a beehive with a stick is probably not a good idea.....especially with a bad knee and a quick getaway needed!
I'm a big proponent of second opinions, so guess where we're headed next Monday. We have an appointment with a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. I think I'll feel much better hearing this doctor's opinion. If it jives with what the doctor here said, well then great. We'll do our best to keep Thomas from taking unnecessary chances with his knee. But if we hear a vastly different opinion, I'm inclined to follow the doctor at Children's. We've had some really great experiences with the doctors' at Children's and I have every reason to believe this experience will be as educational and comforting. Knowledge is power and I fully intend to be as informed about pediatric ACL ruptures as one can be short of medical school.